Evan’s 6th Birthday Party

Evan’s 6th Birthday Party
It doesn’t take much for me to get overly excited about planning a kids birthday party. I guess you can say it’s in my blood given that my first words were apparently “party shoes!” and now I run a nationwide kids music entertainment company.

For Evan’s 6th birthday I was totally late to planning and the date crept up on me, as so many things do with three kids, insanely busy schedules, a business, and a home to run. I told myself “Keep it simple, Jamie, just have a few people over and some donuts and call it a day.” One thing led to another and before I knew it I was on the phone discussing balloon colors and backdrops with Glory Entertainment Events, one of our go-to companies to work with in Miami. It’s really hard for me to stop myself from going completely overboard once I pick a theme. Evan’s request was for a pool party, animal show with waterslides. Seems I am not the only one that needs to be reigned in! We went with a pool party and an animal show – I am obsessed with the folks over at Wild Animal World, they always put on the best shows and have incredible animals that the kids love.

Once I picked the theme I began my list of to dos in order of priority:

1. Lifeguard
2. Entertainment
3. Send Invites
4. Decor
5. Activities
6. Party Favors

I booked the lifeguard and entertainment and then could solidify my date. Finding a date is a challenge, especially because Evan’s birthday lands right in the middle of spring break every year and somehow all of the weekends surrounding spring break are packed. Once we solidified our date, I headed on over to Paperless Post to make up a cute invite and get onto people’s calendars before everyone was booked up! These first three steps are always the most hectic and once they’re done I am so relieved. A week after I do those things and I think to myself oh, wait – I need decor, food, and desserts and wait what am I doing for party favors?! I always get most of these last things together in the last 10 days before the party but that is because I like to live on the edge!

My go-to for decor as I mentioned is Glory Entertainment Events. I am all about a little balloon arch moment and panel. I have done the way overboard version of this. This was the smallest set up they offered and I loved how it turned out with the glistening backdrop that was perfect for a pool party and the fun colors to go along with the theme. If you want to give them a try for your next party they even offered me a code – use code JAMWITHGLORY for 10% off! Even though we had an animal show I tried to stick with the pool party theme with the minimal decor. I had to stay cohesive.

The party favors is my favorite and EASIEST party hack. I love doing a toy store party giveaway with gifts from Five Below. The kids love picking out an actual toy and are always amazed at the set up and I purchase all of the toys for $5, pretty impressive and low cost/low lift.

Hiring a lifeguard is essential for a pool party and keeps parents from getting too nervous, although I think any party with kids in a pool is going to leave parents on edge. We have a pool gate but open it up a tad for easy access in and out of the pool area. We also like to keep the pool floats to a minimum – I always freak out when there are big floats in a pool and too many kids, way too many places for kids to get hidden and the potential for a dangerous situation.

When the animal show started we called all the kids over and set up towels so they could be comfortable. The show was about an hour and was the perfect amount of time. From beginning to end everyone was so into all of the animals, not just observing, but interacting with all of them! This is our second time hiring Wild Animal World and they do not disappoint.

While the show went on, some of the kids played on the playground and went in the pool and it kept each area of play from being too overcrowded.

Now onto the food and drinks – my slightly over the top move was having a bartender and popcorn machine. There is something to be said about being served drinks at a party and a full bar – it takes the kids’ party to the next level so the adults can enjoy it, too. And the popcorn machine was because I couldn’t help myself, I have never had this before and once I looked it up online I realized I probably should just buy my own machine to keep for future parties. They’re really not that pricey! The perk about the bartender and runner is they clean up everything during the party and after the party. Everyone asks me during the party how I am so calm – THIS is why! I don’t have to worry about anything with their help and it’s how I am ok throwing a party at my house versus at the play gym down the street – which is also a great option and low maintenance since they can do it all!

For food we did a spread from Chicken Kitchen which the parents loved and some platters from Publix. We did a cupcake cake from Publix as well and donuts, which are Evan’s favorite.

We also had some activity tables for the younger ones who maybe wanted a calm area in the shade to hang. A few tables were set up with Play-Doh and tools. We also had some Legos set up. I find the activity tables to be super easy to put together and go a long way to keep kids of all ages entertained.

It’s amazing how quickly a two-hour party comes and goes! Before I knew it, we were singing Happy Birthday, eating cake, and everyone was headed out. I always look around at the end of a party – green dye caked into the ground next to the pool and party favor wrappers littering the deck – and think about how much goes into it – the time, the money, and then how quickly it’s all over. It’s always in that moment I think “Yeah Jamie, you overdid it. They would have been happy splashing in the pool with zero decor and some cupcakes”. But I always seem to forget this as I go into planning the next party! Oh well, we’ll call it a blessing and a curse and, most importantly, Evan had an awesome time as did all of his buddies!